Monday, March 10, 2014

In Our Prayers: Malaysian airline passengers and families

The plane is still "missing", but it was quickly announced about the phony passports, suggesting terrorism.

The failure to find the plane is strange: what, no satellites? No one spying there? Or maybe like other information, such as the security camera films of the passengers, they are being held in secret.

Most people remember the Lockerbie bombing, or the Air India flight that also "disappeared", but here in the Philippines we remember Flight 434, which managed to land after being bombed. From Wikipedia:

On December 11, 1994 the Boeing 747-283B, tail number EI-BWF, was flying on the second leg of the route, from Cebu to Tokyo, when a bomb planted by terrorist Ramzi Yousef exploded, killing one passenger and damaging vital control systems. It was a part of the unsuccessful Bojinka terrorist attacks. 57-year-old Captain Eduardo "Ed" Reyes,[1] an experienced veteran pilot, was able to land the aircraft, saving the plane and all the remaining passengers and crew. The flight crew also consisted of First Officer Jaime Herrera and Systems Engineer Dexter Comendador.[2]
Authorities later discovered that a passenger on the aircraft's preceding leg was Ramzi Yousef.[3][4] He was later convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.[4

Why didn't that plane disappear into the ocean? The very skilled  pilot who managed to land the plane using throttles, and the fact that the airplane was a "reconfigured" one that meant the seat where the bomb went off was not over the fuel tank.

In the early 1990's, when I was in the Philippines after my husband had a stroke, I seem to remember a plane taking off from Manila that left late and had a similar bomb go off under a woman's seat. Luckily, they were still on the ground when it happend, since the plane was taking off two hours late, but if the plane had been on time, it would have probably also vanishes over the ocean. For some reason, I have never found the real story listed as terrorism on line.

Here, every week or two there is a small "Terrorist" related incident, usually in the south. But some of these are actually extortion: they "ask" for money, and if you don't give it to them, your bus or business gets bombed.

and of course, there are the NPA communists and drug pushers and lots of politicians killing their rivals (and payback by families who can't get justice via the courts).

 We also have criminal killings (like the local ex USNavy guy robbed and accidentally killed from being tied up too tight). Alas, strict gun control laws are here too: They are a joke because every middle class person has a gun, except us: Chano is a Christian who obeys the law, and Lolo gave his World War II machine gun and handgun away when he had his stroke. So we rely on a machete and George the killer lab, for protection.

And I never travel alone: usually via car or tricycle with the cook or maid, who have relatives who drive tricycles and know who is safe to hire.

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